It’s easy to confuse who we are with what we do. This confusion accounts for much of the stress we experience when faced with making big changes in our lives. But studies show that there is an intrinsic genetic element to who we are that can guide us toward the most rewarding paths for our lives. Some of us just seem to know where to go. What is this internal navigation system that guides these individuals from one direction to the next?
If we can connect with this inner compass, we need never feel lost.
Perhaps we can best understand our level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with our circumstances in terms of how well our abilities, interests and aptitudes coincide with our opportunities to express them. The joy that comes from pursuing your innate desires, loves and passions can lead you precisely where you most want to.
The more our interests, abilities and creativity are recognized and encouraged, the better we feel and the clearer we become about who we are and what we want. Who is the you that never changes? Where is your joy? Where is your laughter? That is your inner compass. Trust it to steer you in the right direction.
The key to finding your way is to know who you are, what gives you joy and what you will and won’t do. If we listen, our inner compass will tell us when we’re on track and when we’re not, when to stick it out and when to head off in a new direction. In the crush of life’s changing demands, it’s easy to lose touch with our inner navigational system.
So how do you discover your inner compass? One way is to take the time to consider one of your favorite work experiences. What did you like about it? Now consider one of your favorite experiences unrelated to work. What did you like about it? Look for words patterns, feelings, and images that repeatedly suggest common themes. Consider your favorite childhood experiences too. Usually there is a thread of similarity that runs along all the favorite memories- work-related, personal and from childhood. That thread is known as the inner compass. These core themes are at the heart of who you are and are an expression of your inner compass. They are your personal essence in action.
Paying attention to the feelings you have identified will guide your life in a satisfying new direction. If these feeling are consistently absent from what you’re doing or considering, then you’re heading away from the direction your inner compass would guide you. HhWhenever you catch yourself saying or thinking any of the following statements you are not listening to your inner compass. You are instead sabotaging your efforts to fulfill your desires.
- I’m bored.
- I shouldn’t feel this way.
- There’s nothing I’m really passionate about.
- But this is what I have to do.
- What’s the use? There’s nothing I can do about it.
- Yes, but what if…?
If you know you need to change and you’re ready to make a change, but you’re not making any progress toward it, it’s a sure sign that you aren’t tuned in. Without an inner navigation system to guide us, we either reach a standstill or we move on aimlessly without sense of where we’re headed or why. If you haven’t discovered your inner compass, you have to make the effort to find it.
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